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  • Organization: CRS - Catholic Relief Services
  • Location: Baghdad
  • Grade: Mid/Senior - Internationally recruited position - Mid/Senior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
    • Project and Programme Management
  • Closing Date: 2016-06-11

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Head of Programming, Kurdistan/Iraq

Baghdad (Iraq)

About CRS:

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) carries out the commitment of the Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas. Our Catholic identity is at the heart of our mission and operations. We welcome as a part of our staff and as partners people of all faiths and secular traditions who share our values and our commitment to serving those in need.


Since June 2014, Iraq has witnessed the displacement of more than 3.2 million individuals fleeing areas taken by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Two years after the start of the conflict, many IDPs have not been able to return home and still have severe unmet needs, while additional displacements are also expected. CRS and its local implementing partner Caritas Iraq have been responding to the critical needs of conflict-affected families since 2014. CRS’ program focuses on: immediate assistance for essential food and household items, upgrades to the shelter and water and sanitation facilities of IDP households, education and psychosocial support for displaced children, and livelihoods for recovery in places of displacement or return.

With offices in Dohuk, Erbil and Kirkuk and plans to expand humanitarian response to areas around Baghdad, CRS’s portfolio in Iraq is large and dynamic requiring a flexible and nimble approach.

Position Overview:

The Head of Programming is responsible for leading the CRS/Iraq’s programming department and effectively supervising a team of 5-6 Program Managers all based in Kurdistan with travel to other areas as security and needs permit. He/she continually seeks out ways to build the capacity of CRS partners, specifically Caritas Iraq, as well as lead the programming team to effectively manage and implement projects. The HOP ensures the technical quality of all CRS projects and the adherence to CRS Program Quality (PQ) standards. He/she guides the strategic programming direction of the Country Program (CP), in line with CP, regional and agency strategies, and oversees the design of new projects to support this strategic direction. In coordination with the Country Representative (CR), the HOP builds and sustains strong donor relationships. The HOP is part of the Senior Management Team, together with the CR and Head of Operations, and actively participates in strategic and management decisions and representational activities.



· Provide leadership and guidance to the programming team and staff by applying critical, innovative, problem-solving and forward-looking thinking and planning to program design and implementation.

· With the rest of the senior management, lead the development and implementation of its program strategies in line with the regional and agency strategy.

· Nurture a work environment that emphasizes learning, productivity, accountability, openness about challenges, and adjustment to new information and new realities.

· Participate as a member of the senior management team.

· Support the development of project budgets for the Annual Program Plan (APP) and review these budgets for quality and accuracy.

Mentoring and Supervision

· Supervise 5-6 national and international Program Manager.

· Participate fully in the recruitment and on-boarding of new programming staff;

· Work with program staff to develop and implement progressive but realistic staff performance and development plans in line with CRS Performance Management System.

· Provide necessary and timely feedback to all staff being directly managed; ensure program managers follow the same process for performance management of their direct reports. Champion effective and regular coaching of staff.

· Build the capacity of programing staff in key project management principles, tools and approaches and ensure that these new skills are utilized on the job.

· Assist staff to maintain healthy relationships with partners and cooperating organizations through adherence to CRS partnership principles.

Business Development

· Support the CR to develop funding opportunities for the country program, and ensure all program staff members assume their respective business development responsibilities.

· Support the programming team’s development of high-quality, responsive and evidence-based concept notes and proposals for funding and rigorously review these concept notes and proposals.

· Position CRS for future donor resources by ensuring highest quality implementation, initiating assessments or studies and strategically utilizing CRS private allocation resources.

· Support the development of promotional materials related to CRS programming and review these materials for publication.

Program Management

· Ensure that CRS program quality standards are promoted and adhered to in programs/projects.

· Participate and assist staff in preparing training/workshops for CRS and partner staff.

· Ensure that all projects are managed to budget and achieve the planned results on time.

· Seek out and coordinate technical assistance from the region and HQ to support CRS programming.

· Coordinate with the Head of Operations (HoOp) to ensure compliance with agency and donors policies and PQ/Management Quality (MQ) standards.


· Work closely with Caritas Iraq and other partners to develop and maintain strong partner relations and engage in the identification of new potential partners.

· Build CRS staff capacity in partnership, in line with CRS partnership principles.

· In collaboration with the HoOP, support the institutional strengthening of Caritas Iraq and other CRS implementing partners through regular interaction, mentoring, and monitoring.

· In collaboration with the HoOP, support effective, appropriate partner assessments, corrective action plans and follow-up.


· Ensure CRS is professionally and consistently represented at relevant interagency, sector coordination, donor, government, interagency, and network meetings.

· Maintain good donor relationships through frequent contact and fulfillment of donor requirements and host donor visits.

· Assist in strengthening local relationships, including Caritas Iraq, local church and other partners, peer INGOs, the UN and civil authorities.

Other duties

· As an integral part of the CRS Senior Management Team, ensure all other senior team members are well informed of all program highlights and challenges in a timely manner.

· Any other duties as required to meet overall position objectives as listed in the position overview.

Agency-wide Competencies (for all CRS Staff)

These are rooted in CRS mission, values, and principles and used by each staff member to fulfill his or her responsibilities and to achieve the desired results.

· Serves with Integrity

· Models Stewardship

· Cultivates Constructive Relationships

· Promotes Learning

Emergency Competencies

These are rooted in the mission, values, and principles of CRS and used by each staff working in emergencies to fulfill his or her responsibilities and to achieve the desired results.

· Communicates strategically under pressure

· Manages stress and complexity

· Actively promotes safety and security

· Manages and implements high-quality emergency programs

Head of Programs Competencies

These are rooted in the mission, values, and principles of CRS and used by each head or programs to fulfill his or her responsibilities and to achieve the desired results.

· Builds and leads effective teams

· Supervises and develops staff

· Focuses on quality

· Leads growth in programs

Supervisory Responsibilities: 5-6 Program Managers

Key Working Relationships:

Internal: Country Representative, HoOP, Finance Manager, HR/Administration Manager, DRD Program Quality, EMECA, HRD and PIQA technical staff.

External: Caritas Iraq, local and international NGOs, UN agencies, partners; donors; affected communities.

Travel: While based in Erbil, Kurdistan, s/he will travel 50% of the time to other areas (Dohuk, Kirkuk, potentially Baghdad as security and access permits) in order to provide technical support to CRS program team and partners.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

· Must have a Masters’ Degree in related field.

· Demonstrated knowledge and experience with emergency and recovery programming and CRS program quality standards. Prior USG-OFDA experience is preferred.

· A minimum of five years program management experience with an international NGO.

· Proven ability to build capacity, lead and mentor, effectively supervise and develop strong working relationships with senior managers and national staff.

· Demonstrated ability to mobilize teams and lead strategic initiatives.

· Demonstrated ability to work in partnership with local communities and NGOs as appropriate; previous experience working with Caritas is highly preferred.

· Ability to represent CRS at high level coordination meetings with donors, local government, UN, and other international NGOs.

· Proven ability to develop successful proposals for a variety of donors.

· Proven ability to manage projects to completion on time, within budget, and with the required results.

· Excellent analytical, management, communication and negotiation skills.

· Must be able to prioritize multiple work demands and work effectively and efficiently with minimal supervision.

· Advanced computer literacy including proficiency in Microsoft Office (MS Word, Excel, etc.). Familiarity with ICT4D/E a plus.

· Ability to work collaboratively and effectively in a multi-cultural environment.

Language Requirement: Fluent English necessary with excellent writing skills; professional proficiency in Arabic is also preferred.

Disclaimer Clause: This job description is not an exhaustive list of the skill, effort, duties and responsibilities associated with the position.

CRS’ talent acquisition procedures reflect our commitment to protecting children and vulnerable adults from abuse and exploitation.


Apply online:

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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